After the rain…

15 09 2010

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Bling!

14 09 2010

Earlier this summer, bride-to-be Abbie posted a request on Facebook for friends for submissions of brooches and pins to include in her bouquet. I crafted a bejeweled headband with loads of pins, charms and baubles (some dating back to my high school days, so this baby is an antique!) for my own wedding last October (see my headband photos here), so I just knew by her description that it was going to be a beautiful bouquet. My headband wasn’t lightweight by any means, but her bouquet was heavy enough to double as a weapon! 

Phyliss Hendley, Abbie’s friend and “second mother,” made this stunning bouquet—as well as Abbie’s feather/flower headpiece. At the bottom of the bouquet, you’ll notice “something borrowed” hanging from a satin ribbon—Abbie’s late father’s Mason ring. I think this qualifies as one of the most beautiful wedding bouquets that I’ve ever seen!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





The wedding party signs “I love you”

13 09 2010

I love this photo—had fun photographing this group yesterday afternoon by the koi pond at the Sayen House and Gardens in Hamilton, New Jersey. Left to right: Jennifer Thorpe, bridesmaid and Abbie’s closest friend; Brian Stewart, Todd’s brother-in-law; Patricia Strohmeyer, bridesmaid and Abbie’s cousin; Gregg Hlavacek, best man and groom’s brother; Natalie Gray, matron of honor and Abbie’s best friend; Todd and Abbie

How I Met Abbie and Patty
I design and produce the Hearing Loss Magazine, published by the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). In early 2008, I was surfing the web looking for blogs by people with hearing loss. I stumbled upon Abbie’s blog, Chronicles of a Bionic Woman, and was immediately impressed—she’s a great writer and very funny. Her blog chronicled her hearing loss and subsequent cochlear implant surgeries. I asked my editor, Barbara Kelley, if we could profile her. I contacted Abbie to see if she would be interested, and she ended up driving from New Jersey to Virginia, bringing along her cousin Patty (bridesmaid shown above), for a cover photo session. Abbie wrote the article for the May/June 2008 issue of the magazine. You can see the results of the cover session (and download the article) on my blog here. Check out the glamour shots (which included playing with wigs!) I shot of Abbie and Patty after our cover session was done here. Because of her writing skills, Abbie was recruited as the official blogger for the 2009 HLAA convention in Nashville.

How I Met Jennifer
I found Jennifer Thorpe’s blog, Stereophonic Bionic, on Abbie’s blogroll and that’s how I became friends with Jen (bridesmaid shown above), whom I finally met in person at the HLAA’s 2009 convention in Nashville. While there, I photographed her with her lovely family for the cover of our July/August 2010 issue of the magazine. Read all about that issue and see the cover here. We were talking about her (wonderful) height (she kept taking her shoes off so she would tower too much over her fellow bridemaids) and she told me she’s the shorty in her family—her parents are 6’2″. I would love to have some of that height! 

As Fate Would Have It
So here we are, three years later, and Abbie is asking me to photograph her wedding. And to think this all came about simply from perusing blogs on the web! Isn’t technology just grand? Here’s a cool fact: Abbie became an Advanced Bionics (AB) mentor and mentored Gregg (the groom’s brother) when he got his cochlear implant. Then Todd decided he wanted to go the implant route and Gregg suggested he contact Abbie so she could mentor him through the process, too. During his best man’s toast, Gregg said that initially the three of them had an e-mail trifecta going, then after awhile he wasn’t included in the e-mails as much—which made him wonder what was up! Eventually, his suspicions were right—romance was blooming between Abbie and Todd! Again, all through e-mail—a bond was formed. They write about how they met on their wedding blog hereOnce again, isn’t technology just grand? 

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Congratulations, Abbie & Todd!

13 09 2010

What a whirlwind weekend we had! We hit the road early Saturday morning and were back home late Sunday night.

I photographed Abbie and Todd’s wedding at the Sayen House and Gardens in Hamilton, New Jersey. Michael and I left Virginia on Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m., checked out the gardens in the late afternoon (scouting for shooting locations), then joined the rehearsal dinner at 5:00 p.m. We were up early Sunday morning to photograph the makeup/hair preparations, then on to the Sayen House by 10:30ish. The ceremony was to take place outdoors at 12:30 p.m. at the Temple Garden under a stone and wrought iron gazebo, but the weather wasn’t cooperating—it had been drizzling since about 7:30 a.m. that morning. The ceremony was moved inside the Sayen House. It was a beautiful ceremony nonetheless. When Abbie and Todd recited their wedding vows (spoken and in sign language)—they were sweet, heartfelt and very funny. Abbie looked lovely (as expected) and Todd was beaming continuously!

There were lots of very personal touches throughout the wedding: Abbie’s stunning handmade bejeweled wedding bouquet (photos to come), Todd’s handiwork with the tree-shaped wood cupcake stand and wooden signs, silkscreened shopping tote bags for the wedding party, and illustrated coffee mugs for the wedding party and family members, just to name a few (photos to come).

We’re fortunate that the rain stopped shortly after and we were able to get our dreamy garden shots outdoors with the couple and the wedding party. I was so relieved that I was able to shoot outdoors in such a beautiful space! I have a ton of photos to sort through, culling them down to the “best of the best.” I’ll share photos as I go along and within a few weeks, I’ll have a complete gallery to share when the images are all done. I wanted to share this particular image first because I think it encapsulates what the whole day was about: a happy, multi-talented, fun-loving couple—clearly crazy about each other—embarking on a new life together!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






My favorite Polaroid transfer image

28 05 2010

I launched a “win free notecards” contest (but you had to submit a story as the entrance fee) in May of last year. I got a few interested folks who said they had a story to submit, but I didn’t get any bites. Nary a one.

Do you have an idea how many of these notecards I still have in my storeroom? (I used them as a promo years ago and still use them for that purpose, as well as for gift-giving—-even used them as favors for our guests at our wedding in October!) Take pity and submit a story so I could send you some. Have a heart!

If you’re interested, click here to read the contest rules & regulations. Shucks, I’ll take a page out of the Payless Shoes book (BOGO—Buy one, get one)) and make this a WOGTWO (Write one, get two) deal and throw in an extra dozen cards for the winner. I may get loopy and choose two or three winners. You just never know. Remember, if you don’t enter, you can’t win!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Parents, plants and partying

22 03 2010

Best parents in the world, shown at right. It’s true. It’s really, really true. Wouldn’t trade ’em for nuthin’. Check out the latest photos I’ve posted on our wedding blog here.

Speaking of blogs…check out my dad’s blog, The King of Texas. He waxes rhapsodic about his family, revisits his childhood (with amazing recall for details), comments on current events (political, celebrity, media and more), and aims to right grammatical wrongs (one visitor at a time) with his occasional lessons on the subject. Check out his archives for some of his essays. I introduced him to blogging almost a year ago and he has become a prolific poster. He has always loved to write and it shows in his lengthy and detailed essays. I just knew it would be a great creative outlet for him. I realize I’ve created a monster, but I am so proud of my grasshopper! Whether you agree or disagree on any particular posting, he welcomes feedback of any kind (but thrives on kudos in particular), so don’t hesitate to comment—he always responds.

Out in the garden…my hellebores, snowdrops and crocus plants are in bloom—after a long, cold, way-too-much-snow winter. I predict some flower photos appearing on the blog shortly. Michael and I cleaned up most of the front yard (gathering six bags of debris!) on Thursday and my friend Tom helped me with a good portion of the back yard garden on Friday. There are lots of empty gaps in the garden this year, so there will definitely be some restructuring of the various beds in an effort to refresh things. I bought a slew of bulbs at Home Depot last night for the front yard garden (liatris, crocosmia, tigridia and lilies). I’m waiting to plant when I’m sure there’s no danger of frost! I also want to try out some new perennial choices so I’ll have some new specimens to photograph this year.

Speaking of flower photography…check out my buddy Ed Vatza’s stunning photos here of the elusive Himalayan Blue Poppy, which he photographed at Longwood Gardens recently. Wish these beauties weren’t so temperamental—they would be in my garden in a heartbeat if they were easier to grow!

And on to the partying…Nanda, one of my Garden Club Weedettes, hosted a knitting party late this afternoon (with wonderful Indian munchies). Yours truly was introduced to knitting today. Boy, was that ever a challenge! I think I’ve gotten the hang of it (sorta/kinda), but it’s definitely seems harder than my basic crochet skills. I’ll post a few photos of my newfound knitting friends and my work-in-progress (I think it’s a scarf—hard to tell at this point!) shortly. Sigh…as if I needed another hobby.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





West Virginia wedding

3 02 2010

In 2003 I photographed the wedding of the daughter of some friends in West Virginia. The wedding was held outdoors on their 33-acre farm, and for July, it was remarkably nice weather! The bride’s best friend was supposed to shoot the wedding as a gift to her, but her parents gave her a trip overseas as a graduation present and she just couldn’t pass it up. I had already volunteered to help with decorations and flower arrangements, so my friends asked me if I would consider covering the event for them. I was very happy to do so. It was my first wedding shot in digital format—utilizing my (then new) Fuji S2 camera. I also wanted the opportunity to do some of the more popular and more casual “photojournalistic” style now popular in contemporary weddings. The majority of the 100+ weddings I’ve shot in the past were a bit more traditional (I even had a list of specific poses to cover when I worked for a wedding photographer one summer!). Obviously, I still covered the traditional group shots (just a few are shown below), but I had the freedom to shoot whatever caught my eye, too. Below is collage with just some of hundreds of images I captured that beautiful day.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.